Lyft offers free rides to Atlanta job interviews, training for those with need

FILE - This Jan. 31, 2018 file photo shows a Lyft logo on a Lyft driver's car in Pittsburgh. Lyft set the price for its stock at $72 per share late Thursday, March 28, 2019, setting the stage for the ride-hailing pioneer's hotly anticipated stock market debut. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Finding a job can be difficult for many, but it's even harder when you don't have a car or money for a taxi.

Ridesharing service Lyft has a solution.

Through its new Jobs Access Program, Atlanta job seekers can get free transportation to and from job interviews and training programs, and free rides to and from work the first three weeks of employment. Once participants get their paychecks, they begin paying for the service.

Lyft's Atlanta program is a partnership with nonprofits Year Up, Generation and United Way 211.

A 2018 study published in Oxford Academic found commuting time as the strongest factor in the odds of escaping poverty. A study Lyft conducted showed 44% of Lyft rides start or end in low income areas, and passengers saved 178 million hours compared to other transportation modes.

Based on those findings, Lyft "committed to expanding transportation access to those who need it most," the company states on its website. "In May, we announced a $50M annual commitment to improve our cities through transportation infrastructure, donated transportation, and sustainability initiatives."

The Jobs Access Program is available in more than 35 cities in the United States and Canada. In addition to the Year Up, Generation and United Way 211, Lyft is partnering with:

  • The USO
  • Goodwill
  • National Down Syndrome Society
  • #cut50 (Dream Corps)
  • The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth
  • Upwardly Global

"United Way believes that people of all ages and abilities should have an opportunity to improve their economic status through employment," said Alicia Lara, senior vice president of impact at United Way Worldwide. "When we work with corporate partners like Lyft in pursuit of this goal, the entire community benefits and together, we can affect sweeping change that benefits us all."

Riders fortunate enough to not need free transportation can help the Job Access Program by donating to its partners or through Lyft's Round Up & Donate program.

"With each ride, your donation will help support the USO's efforts to connect transitioning service members and veterans with Jobs Access rides, as well as support programs for active service members and their families," Lyft says.